In four different states, wishing wounded, hospitalized vets a "Happy December 25th" is just about all the Veterans Administration allowed because anything with the word Christmas was banned as was anything even hinting about the CHRIST in Christmas and the national commander of the American Legion wants to know why.
In Montgomery, Alabama, Jordan McLendon made over 100 goodie bags with Christmas cards to give to vets at the local VA hospital in order to honor her grandfather, a Vietnam vet. She had called and gotten the go-ahead but when she arrived on the morning on the 24th, a VA official told her she couldn't deliver all of them because some of the cards and bags had "Merry Christmas" on them. In fact, though the man was apologetic, by the time he had inspected all 100 bags and cards, 82 gifts and 98 cards didn't pass muster because they weren't generic enough. Dr. Cliff Robinson, the acting director for the VA Hospital, told WSFA News that the VA cannot give the impression that it favors one religion. He says these are not his rules but guidelines handed down years ago by the VA Administration in Washington, D.C.
The Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia issued a policy banning carolers from singing religious Christmas music in public patient areas. When carolers from Alleluia Community School arrived to sing for the vets, as they have since 2011, they were handed a list of 12 songs the hospital's Pastoral Service had "deemed appropriate for celebration within the hearing range of all Veterans." Frosty and Rudolph were in, but Jesus and the angels were out. Hospital spokesman Brian Rothwell couldn't give the Daily Journal the date the VA's ban on religious Christmas songs took effect, but he did say, "VA policy is welcoming but respectful of all faiths and the protection of each veteran's right to religious freedom and protection from unwelcomed religious material, to their individual beliefs."
Veterans in the VA hospital in Dallas, Texas weren't allowed to be given any Christmas cards from students at Grace Academy of North Texas if they included "Merry Christmas" or "God bless You." When Susan Chapman, a teacher at the school and wife of a veteran, went to the hospital to deliver the cards, she was stopped at the entrance and sent packing because "gifts or messages with religious content were not permitted by VA policy." She notified the Liberty Institute and they have taken the case on.
In Iowa City, Iowa, American Legion members were told they could not hand out presents to veterans if the wrapping paper said Merry Christmas.
It seems that even though Christmas is a federal holiday, wishing a vet a "Merry Christmas" is banned.
This isn't the first time the VA has restricted religious freedom in a bid to make everyone (except those who have religion) happy. A few short years ago, prayers or religious speech at VA funerals and cemeteries was banned by the VA. Liberty Institute brought suit in that matter and the VA settled the lawsuit and allowed the religious content to resume. In that September 22, 2011 federal court settlement, the judge ordered the VA “not to ban religious speech or words, such as ‘God’ and ‘Jesus,’ in condolence cards or similar documents given by non-VAVS volunteer[s]."
Sure - there is no war on Christmas --- this is just a coincidence?